Being a guest at a wedding can be tricky. How much is appropriate to spend on a gift? Which side of the aisle do you sit on? If it’s out of town, who pays for the hotel room? You have enough things to worry about, but what you’re wearing shouldn’t be one of them. Just stay far away from any of the things listed below and you’ll be fine.
We can hear you trying to make excuses already, and the answer is a resounding NO! Not even if white looks really good on you. Not even if you know the bride isn’t wearing white. Not even if someone did it at your wedding. Not even if it’s not technically white but a really light pastel. Steer clear.
- Anything That Upstages the Bride
That’s right, you’re not off the hook even if you’re not wearing white. This covers a wide array of wedding guest faux-pas so we’re going to try to cover all of our bases: no tiaras, distracting make-up, gowns that are overly extravagant, or over-the-top costumes (even if it’s a Halloween wedding). You get the idea.
- The Wedding Colors
Complementing the wedding colors is one thing, but looking like you’re trying to be a member of the wedding party is another. If you know what color the bridesmaids and groomsmen are going to be wearing, avoid that shade when choosing your ensemble. You will thank yourself when you don’t spend the entire reception explaining to everyone why you’re not sitting at the head table.
Unless the theme of the wedding is Britney and Justin circa 2001, don’t even think about wearing denim to a wedding. We’re looking at you, gentlemen. Even if they’re the only thing in your closet, have you ever heard of suit rental? No excuses.
It doesn’t matter how trendy they are, it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing them with stilettos, sweats do not belong at a wedding. End of story.
- Crocs, Tevas, or Any “Ugly” Shoe Trend
Same as sweats, it doesn’t matter how trendy your look is, ugly shoes should not make an appearance at a wedding. This goes for Crocs, Tevas, Birkenstocks, dad sneakers, and any other form of footwear that you’re wearing ironically. Trust us, when you’re looking at the photos ten years later, you’ll be thankful you went with a classic pump or loafer
- Anything Too Revealing
We know that a wedding can be the perfect occasion to show old friends how much you’ve glowed up, but try to keep it reasonably modest. And keep in mind that what’s considered “respectable” differs from wedding to wedding. Try to research the couple’s religious beliefs or the rules of the wedding venue. In some churches, even showing your bare shoulders can be considered inappropriate.
- Anything with a Rip, Hole, or Stain
We get it, money can be tight. But based on how much dough your friend is probably dropping on these nuptials, you can afford to spend a little bit of money on a nice dress. Or borrow one from a friend! Regardless of whether or not the rips are intentional, take the safe route and choose something else.
Even if the wedding is in the middle of July, or on a beach, or both, skip the shorts. Instead, opt for light linen pants–they’ll keep you cool and the bride and groom will appreciate you hiding your calves. This rule goes for you too, ladies! If you don’t want to wear a dress or skirt, that’s fine but keep it classy in a light pantsuit.
- Heels You Can’t Walk In
They may be better than crocs, but even a formal shoe that you can’t walk in is inappropriate. For one, no one’s going to want to hear you complaining about how much your feet hurt. Secondly, clumsily walking throughout the venue is bound to cause a spectacle–remember, nothing that distracts from the bride!
Yes, these rules may seem silly, or strict, or make it hard to put an outfit together, but remember, choose an appropriate and you’ll be rewarded with an open bar in the end. If the wedding doesn’t have an open bar, feel free to throw these rules out the window. WE’RE KIDDING! You were asked to be a part of this couple’s special day and wearing a suitable outfit is the simplest form of respect. Your friends and family will appreciate your extra effort to class it up and the universe will reward you with good karma. An open bar is just a nice bonus.